The park, the beach, your favorite camp at the lake are all fun destinations for summer. Your furry family member will love to go with! Fresh water is fun, refreshing and cooling under the sparkling sun, and a great way to exercise and bond activity.
Before you venture into the water, take a moment to check the for algae growth.
Blue-Green Algae (BGA), or cyanobacteria, is usually harmless. It is found worldwide in lakes, rivers and seas. Certain species of BGA becomes toxic when excessive heat and drought create larger blooms, followed by larger die offs. Decay releases bacterial toxins. These toxins can last for up to 3 weeks. Dogs who come in contact with toxic algae can develop health problems. Your dog will have no clue if the water is toxic and may jump right in. It is difficult for humans to estimate by sight if the BGA is toxic, as the BGA is sometimes reddish or brown. It can also lurk beneath the water, rather than on top.
Always check for algae before allowing your dog to take a swim or wade. Keep out of water that is discolored, smells bad or where you see mats of algae, foam or scum. If your dog does jump in, rinse her with water from a tap right away. If she seems not well, take to the vet immediately. Weakness, vomiting, intestinal upset, muscle tremors, seizures, and difficulty breathing are all possible symptoms of exposure. While there is currently no sure- fire antidote, a vet can induce vomiting and give toxin absorbing medication.
Read more about BGA online:
Worldwide Health Organization (WHO) on Cyanobacterial Toxins.